I posted this to Facebook yesterday and people seemed to like it. It’s got 325 likes or loves so far. I know many here don’t take part there, so why not bring it here too?
This is an appreciation post for the great musician Bill Berry is and was for R.E.M., not because we love him, but because he rightfully deserves so.
Bill was a freaking secret weapon, and the band lost a lot more than a drummer when he retired. People usually count on the band’s drummer to, well, shut up, just drum along to the song, and go home. Bill brought in creative thoughts and brand new music (hits, even!), came up with very creative and distinctive drum lines for each and every song, and not the usual doo-dah-doo-dah, with a great use of the hi-hat (“Harborcoat” is a fantastic example) and the toms, and served as a serious editor/producer for all songs, with his own strong voice and view, having a great knack for knowing what should be there on each song and for how long. Not happy with all that, he did backing vocals no one was expecting the drummer to do as well!
That’s a vital piece right there.